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21 May 2014

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My good governor, after reading this article, I can only pray and hope that one of these days your colleague MPs come out and write about corruption and other issues themselves, and develop inspirations and visions to deal with these issues systematically rather than the media and other people talking for them.

That's definitely OK Gary. It was always about getting the message out to as many people as possible. Be very interested in seeing/hearing the result.

Thanks all.

Paul Oates, I like this ditty. My son and his friends of about 9 to 13 years old have a small rap group and, if you permit, they would be elated to make this into a rap.

Samuel Roth, I have been voicing this and much more in parliament, check the Hansard records of parliament.

You will note that I ask the most questions, raise the most issues during grievance debates and have been instrumental in bringing about the tax review to benefit Papua New Guineans.

I have also contributed to a review of the public service and much to the review of the National Security Policy.

Yes I don't just talk, brother, I walk; though sadly, I look around and there are very few walking with me.

We are a people who like to voice opinion and concern but do little else. It is not easy to try to help a people who do not realize they need help.

They are busy trying to survive and are sadly unaware of the danger to their future posed by poor leadership.

Yes time is ticking but I am doing what I can with what I have. If armies of people march with me we can change this country for the better.

Alas, it seems that the people I seek support me with only their words, little else. But I will soldier on until I can walk and talk no more.

Thank you.

Paul Oates - am impressed by your eloquent and witty ditty.

Gary Juffa's example as a Provincial Governor is instructional.

We all know that change best occurs when it starts at the grassroots level and percolates to the top.

Top-down change tends to be forced and unpopular. Added to that you've got a political elite in PNG whose credibility is in shreds.

If change was initiated at the LLG level, where councilors are closer to their constituents, and exposed in provincial assemblies with the co-operation of the governor in all the provinces of PNG its possible that real and everlasting changes to things like corruption and nepotism will be possible.

I'm not sure that Gary Juffa haranguing his fellow members in the Haus Tambaran will be much use.

Rather, he should keep doing what he is good at, fixing up Oro.

And, very importantly, keep writing so that people can see what he is doing.

I am sure that Gary Juffa is not alone in his campaign in Oro. He must have some very capable, honest and committed staff and councilors helping him. Hopefully he and they are converting others as they proceed.

We are all waiting with bated breath for the next provincial governor to come out swinging like Gary Juffa.

I wonder how long the wait will be?

Ethics represents a strong suit in the corruption scenario. Perhaps the perceived lack of them is more to the point.

The last 50 years of history have seen dramatic shifts occur among generations as to how they see themselves and the world around them.

To a great extent, what characterises the current generation is the all prevailing ego or "ME" factor.

Why this factor?
In many ways, it's just because it can and wills to do this way.

The human condition is primarily concerned with self preservation.

One would think perhaps the overtly Christianised PNG should be more free from that than it currently is.

Throw out Christianity and leave only the humanistic remainder; still, the same problem exists: ethical drought.

Why? Because at the end of the day, without accountability to supreme authourity, there remains only "ME."

Think, before you give away,
Every time you fail to say,
What you see in the light of day,
Those that steal and do not pay,
Quiet today and quiet tomorrow,
Only leads to our nation’s sorrow,
Now’s the time to make a stand,
Raise your voice and raise your hand,
Wantok’s,you can make it clear,
Speak out over something dear,
PNG’s your one concern,
Mekim savi, let them learn,
Yumi no ken go ahead,
‘till you change your way instead.

Thanks, Governor Juffa and hats off to Chris Overland for your proposals. They sound, although not new, realistic to me.

Gov Garry Juffa, the clock is ticking as corruption eats away every fabric of our society. Just as the the sound of clapping getting momentum, could you raise your voice a bit in the parliament apart from writing?

You write so well with a good following! Your raising of voice would have a negative correlations - the higher your voice gets in the parliament, the lower the clapping will get. That is the magic we want!

I am not saying you have not done a lot. With much anticipation, I pray that the Good Lord will continue to raise you and your voice the way he is raising you in your writing.

Garry Juffa is probably one of the few leaders who has an open concern for the corruption problem, in PNG.

There are others but we need more to be seen to be attacking the problem.

I tend to agree with Paul Oates. Ethical national leaders are desperately needed. Not only political leaders but also leaders in the bureaucracy, state-owned enterprises, churches and NGOs, LLGs and at the community levels.

It needs personal convictions, with an understanding that what is right is beneficial to everyone, and what is bad or not right will destroy everyone as well. We are at the crossroads with the writing clearly on the wall!

Excellent piece yet again...and yet no solution forthcoming. We need chemo-therapy now!

Gary has effectively enunciated the problem. Now comes the hard part: How to fix it?

The first issue is to establish what parameters are to be used to determine what’s right and what’s wrong. Sure there’s criminal code and a Constitution based on foreign concepts but what ethical standards are appropriate to PNG?

Many western, ethical standards are based on long held Christian beliefs. PNG traditions that effectively worked in village life where the clan and tribe were pre eminent may not now be appropriate when a nation’s people and resources at considered.

The next primary issue is effective leadership. Clearly the current and previous PNG leaders have allowed their nation to deviate from what they inherited at independence. To reverse the trend will now be doubly difficult and create huge social pressures from those who don’t want to change.

Three simple suggestions might work;
1. Agree on an ethical basis for PNG using appropriate and acceptable standards to be voted on at the next general election.
2. Institute a sunset and sunrise date whereby anyone after that date who still is performing in a manner outside of the agreed benchmarks then suffers the full force of the law.
3. Anyone who is clearly aiding or not reporting the illegal activities they see is deemed culpable and must share the consequences along with those who perpetrate a crime.

However, until and unless there evolves effective, ethical national leadership along the lines Governor Juffa has initiated in Oro, nothing will change. The journey begins with the first step.

This is an excellent article.

There is a famous aphorism that covers this situation, which can be paraphrased thus: "In order for evil to flourish it is merely necessary for good people to do nothing".

It is time for the good people of PNG to do something to demonstrate that they will no longer tolerate the corruption in their midst.

As we have learned here in Australia, it is a sad necessity for each state to have an Independent Commission against Corruption or similarly named body, equipped with the power to seize documents, compel witnesses to attend hearings, tap phones and so on.

These powers need to further augmented with the power to seize "unexplained wealth" from those who have profited from there corrupt activities. This must include any unexplained wealth accumulated by their immediate families or private companies as well.

These bodies are usually headed by a Supreme Court Judge or very senior lawyer whose personal integrity and total independence can be guaranteed. The investigators employed by such bodies must be beyond reproach, much like the proverbial "Untouchables" famously employed by the US Treasury during the Prohibition Era in the USA.

PNG desperately needs such a body but it will require an unwavering commitment from the political leadership to make this happen, plus the large scale cooperation of the public to bring matters to its attention.

Also needed is a "Flying Squad' of forensic auditors and the like, who have both the power and the know how to detect fraudulent activity buried away in the books and accounts of both public and private entities alike.

However, most of all, as Gary has pointed out, it needs a culture of honesty and integrity in the machinery of government and of business. Unless and until this occurs, PNG can never escape from the pernicious and immensely destructive influence of the venal criminals who so freely steal the future from their fellow citizens.

Good luck Gary, you're going to need it.

The only viable answer is probably real personal conversion of the heart and mind... But, of course that doesn't take away the need for increased law enforcement...

Beautifully written. Clapping is getting louder and louder even those with hearing problems can hear it loud and clear.

Thank you, Gary, for this excellent article.

Somebody started these various types of corruption and other people are quick to follow them. If one person gets away with something which they shouldn't then others will surely follow.

Maybe the only answer is to rapidly increase the police force and have them trained to look out for all the various types of corruption you have mentioned, corruption in both the public and private sector.

There needs to be many authorities set up to investigate the various types of crime. I know some have already been set up. I wonder if they are doing their job.

I share your sentiments about the bank. Did I recall correctly that the bank signed up as a shareholder of the mining company? Made front page news last month?

If so, my surprise was how the organisation's entire green external corporate mantra and marketing strategy took a totally different turn.

I may have missed a press statement about the business transaction so I'd be interested if someone could verify my assumptions.
_________

Last month's story was about Westpac and PNG land grabs http://asopa.typepad.com/asopa_people/2014/04/westpac-financing-company-accused-of-land-grabs-says-oxfam.html - but I'm sure you could readily find information on banks investing in dubious mining enterprises - KJ

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